Monday, 14 May 2018

Falling over and falling in

I've been out and about, here, there and everywhere. In the town it's the local arts festival. The biggest boy and I went to hear Simon King (wildlife cameraman and presenter) give a talk, which was pretty good.

I've taken a few sprigs of lilac from bushes down the back lane. And found a handful more lilac bushes in no mans land that I have my eye on. I do love lilacs, they have that brief moment of glory before the main flowers of summer get going. Flowers are still a miracle to be gushed over at this time of year I think, after months of mud and bare branches.

Down by the stream it is suddenly waist high with green things and cow parsley. The littlest boy fell in this evening. He was the only one to arrive at cubs dripping sludge from the knees down. By the end they are all usually pretty grubby, he just got in first.

The little community orchard has grass two feet high and a big old cider apple tree absolutely thick with blossom. I sometimes wonder why they keep the two old trees at the end of the orchard, but when I saw it in blossom I realised how spectacular it is. And I think there may be a little cider pressing done at the end of the season as well. It is cider country after all, or near enough to cider country. (For American friends, cider over here is alcoholic. If you just want apple juice, you need to ask for apple juice, otherwise you'll be falling over. If you want to be falling over, ask for rough cider. They pop a dead rat in that to get the fermentation going properly and it's pretty lethal by all accounts. I wouldn't know.)

I did the bird survey with the biggest boy down on the river yesterday evening. It was glorious there. It sometimes seems that 9/10s of the time it is freezing and deep in mud, but yesterday made up for it all. There were swallows flying overhead and a whimbrel out on the mud flats.

Over the road from us, swifts are building their nest. I could watch them for hours, swooping over the road, so fast, so agile.

This week at Cubs it was nettle soup making. The littlest boy absolutely loved it and wants it for his birthday tea. Everything at the moment is all about the Big Day, which is less than a month away now. He has asked for a pogo stick but mercifully has currently forgotten about the axe that he usually asks for. I imagine you could do a little damage with a pogo stick, but not as much as with an axe. (Although I fear he will be thinking, Challenge accepted.) Happily we don't have any large plate glass sliding doors here. So what could possibly go wrong? I'll let you know.


  1. I love lilac too, I used to take armfuls to school when I was a child. I don’t fancy drinking cider started off using a dead rat.

  2. I adore lilac.
    My mother had a beautiful lilac bush in our yard when I was little.
    The scent always takes me right back home. : )

  3. You made a beautiful bouquet with 3 colors of lilacs! Ours have already gone around the bend, their peak period is so fleeting! What a beautiful image of the sailboat on the water. I miss sailing. The apple tree certainly is loaded with blooms! It's pretty neat that your son is learning how to forage and make food and that he likes it!

    *H*A*P*P*Y* * *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y*!*!*!* youngest boy!!

    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  4. Oh CJ what a beautiful walk and all those lilacs, I would like to plant some in the garden here at the farm house. You've taken some love shots with your camera again this post too. I did have a chuckle at poor small person falling in the water en route to cubs. Glad to here there has been a change from axe to pogo stick that sounds a lot safer for both the birthday boy and the rest of the family.


  5. Love those lilacs. We have a big lilac bush on our property and last year it was loaded. This year, only the high branches that I couldn't reach to prune last year are blooming. So I'll have hope for next year again. Green things growing and birds everywhere - it is Spring!

  6. Nettle soup yum! Just pick it high 😬. Lilac in full bloom here too tho the apple trees have finished. Maybe cider apples bloom later? Xx

  7. A pogo stick sounds like fun! I always wanted one myself. Let us know how it works out for him. I love lilacs so much that I've left a volunteer that sprang up in my front yard a few years ago. It only started blooming a year or two ago, and there's only a small amount of blossom each year, and it's in a terrible location, but I'm so happy to have it. Before that, I used to sneak up a neighboring driveway down the street where the house was empty for a couple of years, surreptitiously clip a few branches and run home as fast as I could. :)

  8. Thanks, as always, for a most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. I like the mind-boggling variety of things mentioned - Simon King, lilac, pogo sticks and nettle soup! xx

  9. I just want to say how much I love your blog and look forward to all new posts. Thank you always for the news of your family and the beautiful photos. The lilacs are splendid! I only have two varieties of purple but look forward to that fragrance every spring. I wish all the flowers of May lasted much longer.
    Very best wishes to the birthday boy.

    1. Thank you Cheryl, what a lovely comment. You're right, the flowers of May are wonderful, it would be good to have them longer. Camellias, lilacs, magnolias, apple blossom, love them all. CJ xx

  10. What a gorgeous blog, and post. Such a lovely, lovely area, you live in. Oh those amazing places to wander in!!!

    Community orchard with the old, old trees. Oh how delightful.

    Can you tell? I am completely besotted with all about British Country Villages and etc. :-) -happy sigh- We do live in a lovely area, on the outskirts of a small and nice city. But the UK countryside, tugs at my heart.

    Thank you so much, for blogs such as yours, which can nearly transport me there.

    Gentle hugs....

  11. Fabulous lilac photos, CJ. Really swoony. Also gorgeous pics of the orchard and your area. Nettle soup is meant to be delicious but I've never tried it or made it. (Always a little nervous about whether it'll have been peed on!) Hope your boy has a wonderful birthday and I am not thinking about all the ways a pogo stick could cause havoc... :-) xx

  12. Well, nettle soup beats jelly and ice -cream! Lilac is beautiful, isn't it! I'm wishing we could squeeze a lilac bush into our garden here. Maybe .....

  13. What a beautiful lillacs ..happy weekend love Ria x 💜

  14. For my 12th birthday I asked my parents for a chainsaw, they most unfairly in my eyes refused this but did get me a small kindling axe, I enjoyed using this for years.

  15. The lilacs are beautiful, my favorite in fact. We can't grow them here but my memories of them are still so vivid. We have a birthday coming up next month, seven! I think Little B wants a white remote control robot. I went on;line to look at them are there seems to be a million of them out there, who knew? Now which one does he want? I have no idea. Have a beautiful weekend.

  16. Spring is truly blooming in your neck of the woods CJ. I do absolutely love lilac, the smell is like nothing else. And they're so pretty. I think your youngest and my Angus would get on famously. The pogo stick sounds like an excellent idea! Xx